The Value of Content for SEO
Content is the theme of today’s blog post and personally as an SEO consultant, I’ve noticed and feel that this is a huge part of a good SEO campaign and arguably one of the main criteria that search engines judge a website on. To the average web user, or even business website owner, content may be considered a means to an end – a way to get a message across and to advertise services.
From the birth of a new website and throughout the course of a campaign, content is quite often key to success. When it comes to website owners and getting the word out, it sounds like a simple enough idea to copy and paste content from a competitor’s website and tweak it a little to apply to your chosen areas and company name, but this is a complete no-no. Search engines such as Google do not like to see duplicate content; it shows a lack of originality and means that your content is not tailored to your company name and brand. It would only be a matter of time before the search engine crawlers notice and penalise your website, leading to a subsequent drop in rankings.
If you want your website to be discovered on search engines and read by visitors/prospective clients, its content needs to be relevant. It’s easy to assume that search engines such as Google can magically guess what your site is about and provide the listing to users, but in reality your site has to be specific to who you are and what you’re selling.
If you’re a plumber providing emergency callouts, boiler repairs, general plumbing work, bathroom fitting and heating installations in Sale and Manchester – talk about it. Simply mentioning “Plumber” across your website without mentioning any other services, keywords or locations will not bring in traffic from keyword searches such as “Boiler Repairs Manchester”.
Although it’s good to mention phrases within your content, spamming key phrases is a black hat technique of the 90’s. Keep your phrases subtle, don’t list key phrases in a huge list at the bottom of your website, or mention plumber in your content 50 times within a 300 word piece of content.
Google is getting smarter. As a new wave of algorithms are sweeping across the web and impacting a number of websites within the industry, the term “Content is King” is starting to become even more relevant. Search engines are starting to register synonyms or similar related words within content. For example, it’s good practise to start mentioning naturally occurring and relevant words such as, plumber, plumbing, plumbers, or using a car garage as an example, try to use automobile, vehicle, 4×4, hatchback, and saloon within the content.
Ongoing Campaign – Keep it Fresh
Although a majority of the points above apply to the original creation of a website, it is important to apply the rules to any content created on your website, whether this may be a new page channelling new services, on a blogging website or on news features.
Search engines like to see new content added to websites, whether this may be a paragraph to your homepage every couple of months or a news feature talking about a new product. It is important to add content occasionally to websites just to keep the website fresh and relevant.
Content is King
As the nature of how Google judges websites has adapted and changed over the years, it is important to at least consider the need and use of relevant content. From my own personal experience with viewing what works well in SEO, I’ve often seen the consequences of not sticking to this rough guide has impacted websites and rankings, and how roughly sticking to the guidelines can have a great impact on the long term exposure of a website. Fresh, original content can quite often be the difference between mid-page rankings and position ones.